This Discounted Standing Desk Mat Is Basically a Fidget Toy For Your Feet

TerraMat, $80

With the advent of affordable monitor risers, it’s never been easier to become a part-time or full-time standing desk user, but it’s important not to skimp on the anti-fatigue mat when you decide to make the transition.

Most of these mats are flat slabs of foam, and that’s better than nothing. But what if you could do more with your feet than just balance on them? That’s the idea behind TerraMat, which is essentially a fidget toy for your feet. In the middle, you can stand on it like a normal mat. But off to the sides, you’ll find massage mounds. On the front, a balance bar and “pressure peaks.” On the back, there’s a power wedge to stretch your calves. Surrounding it all is a support track to help you stretch your hip flexors. Basically, it gives your feet things to do while the rest of your body is busy filling out spreadsheets or whatever.


Amazon’s selling the mat for an all-time low $80 right, or $20 less than usual. That price is only available today though, so get yours before this deal takes a seat.

via Lifehacker
This Discounted Standing Desk Mat Is Basically a Fidget Toy For Your Feet

The Best USB-C Adapters, Cables, and Hubs to Connect Old Accessories to Your New Laptop

USB-C–to–USB-A adapter

For nubs, we also tested Nonda’s USB-C to USB 3.0 Mini Adapter and Rankie’s Hi-speed USB-C to USB-A 3.0 Adapter. Both exhibited the proper charge and data speeds. The Nonda has the nicest feeling build quality, but it’s the widest, meaning you can’t use two at a time on a MacBook Pro; it’ll even block wider cables to the second port. The Rankie model just felt cheaper than the rest we tested.

For cables, we also tested Anker’s USB-C to USB 3.1 Adapter, Google’s USB Type-C to USB Standard-A Adapter, iXCC’s USB Type C to USB 3.0 Type A Adapter, and RAVPower’s Type C Adapter. All performed well, and nothing in our tests indicated that they’re structurally inferior, but we prefer the Apple adapter at its current price.

USB-C–to–USB-C cable

Because we relied on USB-IF certification and Nathan K.’s testing, we didn’t independently test any other USB-C–to–USB-C cables. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for noteworthy cords and update as necessary.

Video/USB-A/charging adapters

HooToo’s HT-UC001B Shuttle USB 3.1 Type-C Hub with Power Delivery for Charging, HDMI Output, SD Card Reader and 3 USB 3.0 Ports is identical to our HDMI-less pick, but it costs significantly more. It’s not a bad option if the price drops into the same range as the Satechi and Sanho adapters.

Anker’s USB-C to 2-Port USB 3.0 and 1-Port USB-C Hub with HDMI Port is functionally the same as our two picks, but is physically larger.

Apple’s USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter only has one USB-A port and normally sells for a crazy high price. Even with Apple’s current discounted pricing, it’s expensive for what you get.

Satechi’s Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter worked great in our testing, but it’s larger and more expensive than our picks thanks to the addition of an Ethernet port and SD and microSD slots. It’s worth considering if you need all those features.

Monoprice’s Select Series USB-C HDMI Multiport Adapter is a knock-off of Apple’s HDMI adapter, but the spacing of its ports prevents you from connecting a flash drive and an HDMI plug at the same time.

Aukey’s CB-C26 was promising thanks to four USB-A ports and a low price. Unfortunately, we heard an annoying coil whine during use, so we don’t recommend it.

USB-A hubs

Anker’s Premium USB-C Hub (3 Ports) is more expensive than our HooToo pick and lacks the HooToo’s SD card slot.

Satechi’s Type-C USB 3.0 3 in 1 Combo Hub costs more than the HooToo but has one fewer port; on the other hand, it has SD and microSD slots. We like the design, which allows the adapter to sit flush against the computer’s body, rather than hanging off by a cable. However, we worry about the stress such a design puts on your computer’s USB-C port, and Amazon reviews (30 percent of which include 1-star ratings at the time of publication) frequently mention the hub breaking down or getting dangerously hot.

The design of Monoprice’s Select Series USB-C to 4x USB-A 3.0 & USB-C (F) Adapter makes it difficult to fit USB plugs in adjacent ports simultaneously.

Aukey’s CB-C23 is inexpensive but especially large compared to the competition. Our testing also showed that one of the ports provided more power than the rest, which was strange and a bit concerning.

USB-C–to–DisplayPort cable

Accell’s U188B-006B USB-C to DisplayPort Cable, Plugable’s USB-C to DisplayPort Adapter Cable, and StarTech’s USB-C to DisplayPort Adapter Cable are identical to one another and work as well as our top pick—they just lack the clip that “locks” the DisplayPort plug in place. Don’t hesitate to get one of these if the price is particularly good or if our pick is out of stock.

USB-C–to–VGA adapter

Accell’s U187B-004B USB-C to VGA Adapter and Aukey’s Aluminum USB-C to VGA Adapter both lack screw holes to hold the attached cable in place. It’s a small fault, but considering that everything else performed just as well, it’s enough to knock these cables out of the running.

Aukey’s USB-C to VGA Adapter, Belkin’s USB-IF Certified USB Type C (USB-C) to VGA Adapter, and Cable Matters’s USB 3.1 Type C to VGA Adapter are all functionally equivalent to our pick, but they cost more and offer no advantages.

CableCreation’s Gold USB 3.1 Type C (USB-C) to VGA Adapter worked well in our testing, but enough customer reviews cite failure over time that we don’t feel comfortable recommending this adapter.

USB-C–to–HDMI adapter

The product listing for Cable Matters’s USB 3.1 Type C to HDMI 4K UHD Adapter says it works with Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro models, but we can’t recommend it, because too many customer reviews on Amazon say they’ve experienced issues using it with those computers.

Plugable’s USB-C to HDMI 2.0 Adapter has a warning that explicitly says “NOT compatible with late 2016 MacBook Pro.”

Accell’s U187B-002B USB-C to HDMI 2.0 Adapter and StarTech’s USB-C to HDMI Adapter both work well, but are more expensive than our pick and don’t provide any advantages.

USB-C–to–USB-A cable

Nathan K. has verified two other USB 3.1 Gen 1 cables: the Anker USB-C to USB 3.0 Cable and the Anker PowerLine+ USB-C to USB 3.0 Cable. The former is more expensive than our pick with worse build quality, while the latter is about double the price of our pick. The braided cable of the PowerLine+ may be a bit sturdier than our pick’s, but we don’t think most people need to pay extra for the rugged design. The PowerLine+ did work well in our testing, if you happen to prefer its looks or want something that’s overbuilt.

Belkin offers a good alternative to the Google USB 3.1 Gen 2 cable with its Apple-exclusive USB-A to USB-C Cable (USB 3.1). The plug housings are a bit bigger than our pick’s—the only real downside.

USB-C–to–DVI adapter

StarTech’s USB-C to DVI Adapter requires a cable, as most adapters do, but it’s just as expensive as our pick and doesn’t add any value over the other options.

via The Wirecutter
The Best USB-C Adapters, Cables, and Hubs to Connect Old Accessories to Your New Laptop

The Best Online Cloud Backup Service

The four other online backup services that made my cut based on price and must-have features are all reasonably good but lacking in one or more ways that Backblaze and IDrive are not.

Service Acronis True Image 2018 Backblaze ElephantDrive IDrive Online Backup Carbonite Zoolz Cloud Archive for Home
Price for one year $100 $50 $120 $70* $60 $70*
Storage at above price 1 TB Unlimited 1 TB 2 TB Unlimited 1 TB*
Computers covered at above price 1 1 Unlimited Unlimited 1 5*
Cost for 1 TB per month $8 $4 $10 $6 $5 $6
Family/group plan cost $150/year (3 computers) or $160/year (5 computers) N/A See note N/A N/A $250*
Family/group plan storage 1 TB N/A See note N/A N/A 4 TB*
Family/group plan computers covered 3 or 5 N/A See note N/A N/A 5
Versioning 20 versions Unlimited Unlimited 10 versions Windows only Unlimited
Encryption AES-256 AES-128 + public/private key AES-256 AES-256 128-bit Blowfish AES-256
External drive as source Yes Yes Yes Yes Windows HomePlus plan ($80/year) or better only Yes
Network drive/NAS as source Mapped network volumes only No NAS devices only Yes No Yes
External drive as destination Yes No No Yes Windows HomePlus plan ($80/year) or better only Yes*
Personal encryption key Yes Yes Yes Yes Windows Only Yes
Folder syncing Windows only No Yes Yes* Yes No
File sharing No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Retention of deleted files/old versions Indefinite (user preference) 4 weeks Indefinite (user preference) Indefinite* 30 days Indefinite
Deduplication No Client-side, block-level Client-side, file-level No No Client-side, block-level
Seeding No No No Yes No Yes
In-place restoration Yes No No Manual Yes Yes
Physical restore media No Yes Yes Yes Available only with Prime plan for Windows ($150/year), and costs $120 No
Continuous backups No Sorta Yes Yes, for files under 500 MB No No
Scheduling interval Minimum once per hour Automatic on file change, once per day, or manual Automatic on file change, once per day, once per week, or once per month Automatic on file change or minimum once per day Minimum once per day Minimum once per 12 hours
Throughput (default settings, Mbps) 25.35 19.58 18.87 27.1 4.64 16.83
Throughput (customized settings, Mbps) 19.82* 22.4 18.87 27.1 16.83
Native Mac/Windows apps Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Notes Premium subscription details shown here. One-time purchase, no storage: $50. One-year Advanced subscription, 250 GB: $50.*Default = Optimal setting; customized = Maximum setting. Oddly, Maximum was much slower than Optimal in my tests. Paid accounts permit you to back up an unlimited number of devices and also set up three sub-accounts.ElephantDrive uses a Java app. *Price: Discount offered for first year. IDrive also offers a $100 per year, 5 TB plan.*Sync: Uses separate storage space.*Retention: User-specified pruning is optional. Claims upload speeds of up to 10 Mbps. *Price and storage: $70 per year for Family plan (1 TB); $250 per year for Heavy plan (4 TB). Promotional prices are currently $40 and $100, respectively.*External drive: Local storage can be used only in addition to cloud backup.


Acronis True Image 2018 offers a one-year subscription with 1 TB of storage for $100; you can also choose a less-expensive plan with only 250 GB of storage. True Image selects the whole drive by default, backing up every single file on your disk, so you could restore your entire drive if you wish—but that’s a process I wouldn’t attempt while using a broadband connection with a data cap. (I recommend clicking Change Source to manually choose what to back up.) Oddly, encryption is not enabled by default, but you can easily turn it on before starting a backup. True Image offers a personal encryption key, versioning (up to 20 versions), indefinite retention (user-configurable), delta updates, and in-place restoration, all of which are good things. It also lets you select external drives, including mapped network drives, as either the source or the destination.

In my tests, with True Image’s default network settings, throughput was a speedy 25.35 Mbps—the second-fastest result after IDrive. But when I changed the data-upload speed from Optimal to Maximum, throughput inexplicably dropped to only 19.82 Mbps. I repeated the test several times to confirm this finding, and the Maximum setting was always slower for me.

However, True Image runs only on a schedule, not automatically when files change, with a maximum frequency of once per hour (and a default of once per day). It does not perform deduplication, which means you may waste time and storage space backing up identical or near-identical files. And the service offers no option to seed a backup by sending in a hard drive, or to receive backed-up files on physical media. Folder syncing across devices is an option, but only for Windows users.

The Windows version of Carbonite ranks far ahead of the Mac version. Windows users get versioning and a personal-key option; they can also choose higher-priced Plus and Prime plans with more features, such as the options to back up external hard drives and receive restored files on physical media. But those higher-priced plans make Carbonite considerably more expensive than Backblaze, and Carbonite still provides only 30-day file retention, a maximum backup frequency of once per day, and no seeding option. You must also manually select all the files and folders to back up. And although the company says that it no longer throttles the connection after backups reach a certain total size, and that it offers “upload speeds of up to 10 Mbps” (which is to say, the speed is artificially restricted on the server side), the maximum throughput I saw in my tests was only half that, at 4.64 Mbps.

A screenshot of the Windows version of Carbonite.
The Windows version of Carbonite lets you use a personal encryption key; you can select the option during setup or after the fact (as shown here). Mac users don’t have this option.

ElephantDrive recently increased its storage-space options such that you can now get 1 TB of storage for $10 per month (previously, $10 per month got you only 100 GB), and it offers both versioning and a personal-key option, so I tested the service for the June 2017 update to this guide. ElephantDrive requires Java, so you see a prompt to install Java if it’s not already present on your computer. Unfortunately, like many Java apps, ElephantDrive has an awkward interface, and because ElephantDrive requires a standard Java installation, it subjects your computer to unnecessary security risks. ElephantDrive backs up your Desktop, Music, and Pictures folders by default (not your entire Home folder), but you can make changes to the selection before the backup runs.

Finally, two other issues make this service far less attractive than Backblaze or IDrive. First, ElephantDrive offers deduplication but not delta updates—make even a tiny change to a file, and it uploads the whole thing again, wasting time, bandwidth, and storage space. Second, although the app offers versioning, the interface makes seeing and restoring older file versions unnecessarily cumbersome. On the plus side, in my tests its measured throughput was a healthy 18.87 Mbps, at which rate you could back up about 212 GB per day; the company also has a version of ElephantDrive that runs on many NAS devices, giving you a good way to back them up to the cloud.

I had a hard time getting past the awkward and unintuitive interface of Zoolz Cloud Archive for Home. Once I figured it out and manually added the folders I wanted to back up, I tested throughput at a respectable 16.83 Mbps. However, none of the settings I tried that were supposed to improve throughput—including Turbo mode and multi-threaded uploads—improved that figure. Zoolz backs up your files a maximum of once every 12 hours, which is far too infrequent. And the restoration process is by far the most confusing I’ve ever seen: You have to launch a separate app to restore files, and although you can restore them in place, finding the ones you want is unreasonably hard. The display doesn’t even distinguish files from folders except by color, and it doesn’t offer a hierarchical or tree display—you must double-click folders endlessly to drill down to the file you want, and repeat for each additional thing you want to restore. Zoolz offers 1 TB of storage for $10 per month, though multiple computers can share that space.

We also tested SOS Online Backup for a previous update to this guide; at the time, it met our criteria for inclusion. Since then, the company has changed its pricing, and the service no longer comes close to offering at least 1 terabyte of storage for less than $10 per month. We tested it only as a Windows option, as the service has no personal-key option for Mac.

Finally, a few words about some well-known online backup services I didn’t test because they failed to make my cut for one reason or another:

  • Depositit: Prices start at £10 (about $16) per month for 3 GB.
  • DollyDrive: This service starts at $5 per month for 500 GB and offers 1 TB for $10 per month (the company also offers a plan with unlimited storage for a single computer for $6 per month), but it’s Mac-only.
  • IBackup: When I initially researched the field of services, I dismissed IBackup because it offered only 10 GB of storage for $10 per month, well below my requirement of 1 TB; in addition, I came across a good number of terrible customer reviews. The company later increased storage to 1 TB for the same $10 per month, bringing it in line with the other services in my final list, and I made a note to investigate it further. On my most recent examination, however, the company was back to charging $10 per month for only 10 GB, with a “limited-time” promotion of $10 per month for 500 GB or $20 per month for 1,000 GB. With or without the promotion, it didn’t meet my price cutoff.
  • JustCloud: The last service I cut from contention, JustCloud charged almost $260 for two years (just over $10 per month) for 1 TB of storage at the time of my research, but it didn’t offer a personal-key option.
  • Livedrive: Although the price—$8 per month for unlimited backups from one computer—isn’t too bad, neither the site nor its software makes any mention of a personal-key option. And all the servers appear to be located in the UK, which is likely to mean slower performance for people in North America.
  • Memopal: A price of €79 per year (about $90) gets you only 500 GB of storage.
  • MozyHome: Mozy charges $6 per month for just 50 GB of storage from one computer, or $10 per month for 125 GB of storage from up to three computers.
  • Norton Online Backup: A fee of $50 per year gets you 25 GB of storage for up to five computers.
  • Rhinoback: This service offers 20 GB for $50 per month; 1 TB costs an astonishing $1,300 per month.
  • SpiderOak One: Although I like everything about SpiderOak One’s security and privacy offerings—private keys are the only option—this service is just outside my price-range cutoff, at $12 per month for 1 TB. It offers syncing across devices but otherwise has little to recommend it over Backblaze.
  • SugarSync: Just 250 GB of storage costs $10 per month.

via The Wirecutter
The Best Online Cloud Backup Service

Building a Gigantic Blender Is the Best Use For an Unwanted Lawnmower


What do you do when you move into a house without a lawn and no longer have any need for your electric mower? That’s easy, you strip it down and use its spinning blade to build an over-sized blender that can slice and dice much more than just chunks of ice.

Giaco Whatever’s latest experiment easily makes the list of things you definitely shouldn’t build at home—unless you’ve got a super high-speed camera and can capture fascinating footage of soda cans and ping-pong balls getting shredded to bits. In addition to processing decidedly non-food objects with ease, we bet this monstrous blender could whip up a bathtub full of margaritas faster than you can say Jimmy Buffet.


via Gizmodo
Building a Gigantic Blender Is the Best Use For an Unwanted Lawnmower

Ring launches its own DIY home security system

Ring may be best known for its video doorbells, but they’ve been branching out into a fully fledged home security solution. Today, Ring announced the Ring Protect, a DIY security system that brings together all of the company’s products in one seamless system.

The base Ring Protect bundle starts at $199 and includes a base station, keypad, a contact sensor (for a window or a door), a motion detector and a range extender. Presumably, you will be able to buy more sensors and keypads to add onto your system, but Ring doesn’t have them available for preorder on an individual basis yet.

The Ring Protect is designed to work with existing Ring video doorbells and security cameras for a seamless home security experience. It’s $10 per month (or $100 per year) for cloud video storage for an unlimited number of Ring devices plus 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup (if you have the Protect base station). That’s not a bad deal at all, especially if you already own Ring devices.

The Ring Protect bundle is available for preorder today at, and It will be available for purchase in Home Depot and Best Buy physical locations later in October.

via Engadget
Ring launches its own DIY home security system